Counterfeit or not?
Security features show whether a note is genuine or counterfeit. Public knowledge about security features has been stable through the years. On average, Dutch consumers know 2.6 features by heart, of which the watermark is by far the most frequently mentioned. It should be noted, however, that respondents are then unable to say what the watermark represents , i.e. the same building as depicted on the front of the note. Opinions of course differ from person to person. People in higher social classes for instance know one characteristic more than those in lower social classes, while they use cash less often than the latter group.
The probability of being handed a counterfeit note is low at roughly 0.002% per year, about as big as the chance of winning a big prize in the national lottery. Dutch people therefore assume that it will not happen to them. The average rating for trust in the authenticity of banknotes is 7.3 out of 10. This may explain why so few people check banknotes for authenticity. Two thirds of Dutch respondents have not checked their euro banknotes in the past five years, and they have no intention of changing this in the future. This is why it will prove to be an even bigger challenge than it already is to capture the public's attention for security features.
How are euro bills rated?
The design of the euro bills has been awarded a fairly stable 6.8 over all the years studied, whereby the five euro note is rated a meagre 4.7 when compared with the 20 euro note (7.2). Looking at the details, it turns out that the Dutch have become more and more indifferent about the design of the bills; they find the euro notes neither attractive nor unattractive. People find it hard to express an opinion on the appearance of the higher denominations as they are relatively scarce in the Netherlands.
The appreciation of the new five euro note, whose introduction had been announced at the time of the survey, may be a bit higher, but it was issued after the survey closed on 2 May 2013. That said, only 20% of respondents reported to have seen or heard anything of the promotional campaign, of which the majority remembered that a new five euro note was on its way. The new features had not been picked up yet: only four out of 1,020 respondents knew that the new watermark represents a portrait of the Greek goddess Europa.
Surprisingly enough, the rating of the design of the euro notes was not related to the knowledge of security features.
When asked to prioritise the functions of a banknote, respondents rated value recognition as the most important. By awarding value recognition 7.7 out of 10, respondents clearly believe that this has been managed very well in the new bill. They were less enthusiastic about the second function of a banknote: being able to discern whether a note is genuine or counterfeit, valued at 5.7. The third function of the note, user-friendliness, e.g. does it fit easily into your wallet, was valued high at 7.7 out of 10. According to the respondents, the least important function of the banknotes is the message the symbols used aim to convey: openness, cooperation, and communication between nations. This message was considered to be poorly conveyed at 5.2.
The Dutch are satisfied about the quality of the bills in their wallets: 72% find them to be generally clean. This does, however, not apply to the frequently used five euro bill, which only 40% of respondents found to be clean, whereas 9 out of 10 respondents thought the same of fifty euro bills.